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Investigating another failure – Why is SharePoint being considered a cuss word?

The last week, in a meeting which was held on completely different topic, one of the IT managers from a large German corporation was hitting really hard against SharePoint. “That thing”, that’s how he has called it, “has a very low acceptance, causes only the problems, increases the work and support ammount – which is already almost impossible to endure”.
More the less, SharePoint is a cuss word there. As he said, That SharePoint thing!
I talked to him later in a coffee-break, I was interested to see where the problems are coming from. I guided the conversation toward the points I have talked about in my article “Planning SharePoint projects and avoiding some common mistakes in the process“, and let’s see how did the check go:
  1. No Vision Statement
    Epic fail. They didn’t have a clue why they are installing SharePoint at all. It was the “order from above”. All what they knew about it, is that “it can store documents”.
  2. False expectations
    The management was sure that with SharePoint they can picture and automatize all the business processes in no time. Collaboration is there, out of the box. Actually, no further software development will be needed at all in the corporation, after SharePoint is once up and running. And everyone will be using it immediately.
  3. No support from the management
    This was one of the rare things which were actually ok – but only partly. Management wanted it. They just didn’t exactly know what is it, and which amount of work would it bring.
  4. Showcasing features instead of building solutions
    Once it was there – whole top and middle management personnel was called to the meeting, and they were shown different type of lists, calendars, and site templates. Nothing else. That was about it what IT could showcase at that point. That didn’t really help.

  5. Lack of proper planning
    Well, that investment would not be in vain, SharePoint was imposed. Each department got a SiteCollection. IT department was in charge. Go, use it!
  6. Lack of proper staffing
    Existing IT people were sent to the training after SharePoint was purchased and installed. No further stuff were employed.
  7. Undefined success measurement
  8. No adequate support
    Existing IT and 1st level support staff were assigned to do the first level support for SharePoint, as well. Even in the early phases of the SharePoint adoption.
Seven out of eight? It would be a wonder if it has worked out.
But hey, they have SharePoint. And they call it a successful project. Never mind than no one is using it voluntarily. And even those who have to use it (imposed), deeply hate it.